Reasons To Be Cheerful: The Life and Work of Barney Bubbles
Foreword by Malcolm Garrett. Introduction by Billy Bragg. Text by Paul Gorman, Peter Saville.
Described by The New York Times as "a hero to young designers," the British designer Barney Bubbles is one of the most mysterious but influential figures in the field of graphic design. Bubbles, who died 25 years ago, links the colorful underground optimism of the 1960s to the sardonic, edgier art that accompanied Punk's explosion a decade later. In the 1960s, Bubbles created posters for the Rolling Stones, brand and product design for Sir Terence Conran and psychedelic lightshows for Pink Floyd. Responsible for art direction at the key underground magazines Oz and Frendz, and for the classic masthead of the NME rock weekly, he is best known for the plethora of stunning record sleeves, logos, insignia and promo videos for musicians and performers, from the countercultural collective Hawkwind to New Wave and Postpunk stars Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, The Damned, Billy Bragg, Depeche Mode and The Specials. Bubbles created his own idiom, amalgamating Expressionism, Dada, Constructivism and Concrete poetry into a Rock context. With over 600 images, the meticulously researched Reasons to be Cheerful is the first and definitive investigation into Bubbles' life and work. Billy Bragg contributes an introduction, graphic designer Peter Saville an essay on the significance of Bubbles' oeuvre (titled "Toward the Canonisation of Barney Bubbles") and Malcolm Garrett a foreword.